Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960, is a novel which explores the theme of challenging racial prejudice. Within this novel, Lee has portrayed unintentional racial prejudice through the characters Atticus Finch, Link Deas and Scout Finch. With these characters, and their roles in exploring the theme of racial prejudice, Harper Lee has set unintentional boundaries for readers, as result, racial prejudicial thinking from contemporary perspective, in comparison to historical views, is challenged to a small extent.
Atticus Finch is the most significant character, in To Kill a Mockingbird, who challenges racial prejudice as he does not follow the norms, in Maycomb, of being racially prejudice towards others. At first, Atticus Finch is reluctant to take on Tom Robinson’s case; however in the end, he willingly accepts. Unlike the majority of Maycomb residents, Atticus is not racist and makes no ...view middle of the document...
Harper Lee’s portrayal of Atticus Finch challenges historical audiences, as compared to present-day readers, on racial prejudice as it was considered unusual for a white man to defend a Negro. This event shows to readers that Atticus accepts Tom Robinson’s court case for his children, and because he is not racist, yet limits modern readers to see that African-Americans are dependent of white people.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch’s perspective of the world is non-prejudiced, and this makes her one of the few children who challenges racial prejudice to a small extent. Although Scout is exposed to racial prejudice and despite the fact that Jem has given her four examples of folks, she states “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” (chapter 23) Scout believes, fundamentally, everyone is the same – she believes people should not be divided into racial or ethnic groups. Through the child Scout Finch, readers are able to understand that racial prejudice is challenged in To Kill a Mockingbird, although it was accepted by most of society.
Link Deas is a character who challenges racial prejudice as he willingly looks past race and stands up for Tom Robinson. During Tom’s court trial, Mr Deas stands up and interrupts “I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy’s worked for me eight years an’ I ain’t had a speck o’trouble outa him. Not a speck.” (chapter 19) Mr Deas chose to defend Tom Robinson even though it was not his job to do so. He knew that his statement would not make a difference in the trial, but he did what he believed was the right thing to do. Even though Mr Deas has a minor role, in To Kill a Mockingbird, he still contributes to challenging racial prejudice because he takes no part in the conformity of racial prejudice, in the town of Maycomb.
To conclude, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, continues to challenge racial prejudice to s small extent. Lee’s representation of Atticus Finch, Scout Finch and Link Deas expresses racial prejudice very bluntly and carelessly. Therefore, To Kill a Mockingbird is unsuccessful in challenging racial prejudicial thinking from a present-day perspective.